There are two different chamomile plants: German and Roman. The German chamomile is the more popular one. It is native to Europe, parts of Asia, and north Africa. The plant grows up to three feet tall, has tiny daisy-like flowers (the part that is used medicinally), and is very aromatic with an apple-like scent. German chamomile tea has been used for thousands of years to treat a number of problems.
Anxiety and Insomnia
In the United States, this is the most common use for German chamomile. According to animal studies, low doses can help relieve anxiety and higher doses can promote a good nights sleep.
German chamomile is a gentle herb and is considered safe for children. It has antispasmodic properties that are especially helpful in relaxing smooth muscles like the intestines. Drinking this wonderful tea can help treat problems such as colic, excessive flatulence, indigestion, stomach cramps, and irritable bowel syndrome. These antispasmodic properties can also help relieve aching muscles and menstrual cramps.
German chamomile also has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. When applied topically, it can help treat cuts, scrapes, minor abrasions, and skin disorders like eczema.
German chamomile, when taken in reasonable amounts, is considered generally safe. When large amounts of tea (highly concentrated) are consumed, vomiting may occur. Long-term safety is unknown.
If allergic to plants belonging to the Asteraceae/Compositae family (including ragweed, daisies, asters, marigolds, and chrysanthemums), an allergic reaction to German chamomile is possible.
There is not enough evidence if taking this herb during pregnancy or breastfeeding is safe so it is best to avoid use.
If you have a hormone-sensitive condition such as breast, uterine, or ovarian cancer, uterine fibroids, or endometriosis, do not take because it might act like estrogen.
If taking medications, consult with your health care provider before taking.
To prepare a cup of German chamomile tea, pour 1 cup of boiling water over 2 teaspoons of dried flowers (or 1 tablespoon of fresh flowers), cover, steep for 5-10 minutes, and strain. Drink 3-4 cups a day between meals.
For topical use, you can add 4 cups of strong tea to lukewarm bath water or you can soak a clean cloth into a strong solution, wring out the cloth, and apply to the affected area.
Consult with your health care provider before giving to a child.
University of Maryland Medical Center: German chamomile - https://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/german-chamomile-000232.htm
Herbs 2000: German Chamomile - https://www.herbs2000.com/herbs/herbs_chamomile_ger.htm
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